THE FALL OF PAN AM 103: Inside the Lockerbie Investigation by Steven & Brian Duffy Emerson

THE FALL OF PAN AM 103: Inside the Lockerbie Investigation

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An adroit examination of the bombing of Pan Am 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland, that reads like a good spy thriller--with an ending that, sadly, is known. Emerson (Secret Warriors, etc., 1988) and Duffy (an editor at U.S. News & World Report) take a step-by-step approach to the aftermath, which spanned 11 countries and involved 10,000 officials, witnesses, and investigators. The explosion aboard the New York-bound 747 on Dec. 21, 1988, killed 270 people, 11 of them on the ground. Terrorism was suspected even as the Pan Am 103 blip disappeared from radar screens. The responsibility for coordinating the cleanup and the hundreds of volunteers, firefighters, and police officers fell to local police chief John Boyd, whose efforts reach heroic proportions in this account. Bodies and debris were spread over a 845 sq.-mile area. The search for the perpetrators led beyond the notorious Abu Nidal organization (which claimed responsibility) and the passengers who were potential targets--including two CIA agents returning from Lebanon. The focus shifted to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, headed by a Syrian, Ahmed Jibril. Members of the PFLP had been rounded up in West Germany's ""Autumn Leaves"" arrests in October and were currently in jail. According to the authors, investigators believe that the West Germans, trying to protect at least one undercover operative, not only impeded the international investigation but actually suppressed evidence that an informant, Marwan Kreeshat, had made at least six barometer bombs and knew when and where they would be placed, it is believed that one of Kreeshat's bombs was placed aboard Pan Am 103 by an unwitting 20-year-old Lebanese-American who was among the victims. A first-rate job of investigative journalism, thorough and well told.

Pub Date: April 16th, 1990
Publisher: Putnam